While Nintendo’s Wii is no-doubt gracing many millions more homes after the Holidays, one easy criticism of the device is its lack of movie-playing options: that optical drive just won’t play your DVDs, unless you do some hacking. Since the Xbox and PlayStation can already do this–with the PS3 also supporting Blu-ray–and are quite successful with the digital distribution of content over their respective online services, the Wii is lagging behind its competitors. Which may be why Nintendo’s revealed it will be making its own online video service for Wii users.
Dentsu Inc. advertisers are Nintendo’s partners for the Japanese launch of the service, and the two companies stated “Nintendo and Dentsu shall use the environment surrounding the Wii so that living rooms with Wii-ready TVs would become more of a fun area for communication among families and friends.”
In fact, Ninendo apparently intends to develop original content for Wii users to watch. Nintendo is becoing a TV program/movie producer and erstwhile broadcaster? That bizarre choice will probably lead to enhanced advertising or short kid-centric game-themed or cartoon fare such as Pokemon, rather than full-blown programming. Movies and shows from other providers should be the lion-share of what is offered.
Nintendo will offer most shows for free, with some pay-to-view content. The service will go live in Japan first with a view to expand overseas in the future.